Elfrid Payton
Elfrid Payton
26-Year-Old GuardG
New York Knicks
2019 Fantasy Outlook
After spending 31 of the first 36 games of the 2018-19 season on the sideline with a sprained ankle, Payton went on to produce solid all-around numbers in 42 appearances with the Pelicans. The 24-year-old point guard started every game he played in New Orleans, averaging 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists across 29.8 minutes per game. He also had a stretch in February where he recorded five straight triple-doubles. Now, Payton enters a situation in New York with a backcourt filled with young talent, including the likes of Dennis Smith, Kadeem Allen, Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier and rookie R.J. Barrett, all of whom could serve as the team's primary ball-handler. With that, it's unclear exactly where Payton will fit into the rotation, especially since the Knicks acquired Dennis Smith as their apparent point guard of the future in the Kristaps Prozingis trade last season. However, given their free agent signings this offseason, it's clear the Knicks are looking to put a more competitive product on the court this season, and with Payton's production last season and his existing chemistry with Julius Randle from their time in New Orleans, the point guard could have a leg-up on the competition in the early goings of the season. The biggest issue for Payton remains his ineffective shooting ability, as he shot just 31.4 percent from behind the arc and 43.4 percent from the field overall last season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Knicks in July of 2019. Contract includes $8.2 million team option for 2020-21.
Personal Bio

Elfrid Payton Jr. was born in Gretna, Louisiana in 1994. Payton is the second oldest of six children to Elfrid Sr. and Danielle Payton, the only boy. His father was a star in the CFL, recording 154 sacks in 15 seasons, and was enshrined in 2010 to the Canadian Football Hall-of-Fame. Payton spent three years at John Ehret High School in Marrero, Louisiana, where he averaged 12.8 points, 5.2 assists and 4.1 steals as a senior to earn district MVP honors, helping lead the team to a 30-4 record. The summer before his junior year at Lousiana-Lafayette, Payton represented the United States at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, starting all nine games and helping the team to a gold medal. As a member of the Magic, Payton received the 2017 Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award for his charity work with the Central Florida community. Payton also started the The Elfrid Payton Foundation, which runs a 10-week arts program for fifth graders to expose students to poetry, music, dance and painting. You can follow Elfrid Payton on Twitter and Instagram @Elfrid.

College/International Summary

Payton spent three years at guard for Louisiana-Lafayette from 2011 to 2014. The 6-foot-3 native of New Orleans was a spot starter as a freshman and provided 7.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists over 23 minutes per contest. In his sophomore season, Payton moved into the starting lineup. He was named to the All-Sun Belt First Team after averaging 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game. The guard had a near-triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists in a loss to Florida International. After his sophomore season, Payton started for Team USA in the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championships. The team won the tournament. Payton then led the Ragin' Cajuns with 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game during his junior season. Payton had five double-doubles and a triple-double with 34 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a double-overtime loss to UL-Monroe. UL-Lafayette won the Sun Belt Tournament and Payton averaged 16.7 points and 7.0 assists per conference tournament game. Then, in the NCAA Tournament, Payton had 24 points with eight rebounds in the first round loss to Creighton. At the close of his junior season, Payton won the 2014 Lefty Driesell Award as the National Defensive Player of the Year. With one season of eligibility remaining, the guard opted for the 2014 draft.

Balanced line in victory
GNew York Knicks
March 9, 2020
Payton provided 16 points (7-11 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-3 FT), six assists, five rebounds and a steal across 31 minutes in Sunday's 96-84 win over the Pistons.
ANALYSIS
Payton is in the midst of an excellent three-game run of production during which he's averaging 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.7 assists. He's also converting an eye-popping 61.1 percent of his shots, which is 17 percent higher than his season-long average.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

Payton appeared in 45 of 66 games for the Knicks during the shortened 2019-20 season. He averaged 10.0 points, 7.2 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals across 27.7 minutes per contest and started 36 games. The point guard ranked sixth in the NBA in both assist percentage (38.6) and steal percentage (2.7). Payton shot 43.9 percent from the field and hit 1.5 threes per game, which marked his fourth straight season of making at least 1.5 threes per contest. On Feb. 6, he set a new single-game career high by grabbing seven steals during a home win over the Magic. In that game, he also posted 15 points (7-13 FG, 1-1 3Pt), nine assists and four rebounds in just under 33 minutes. Payton's other single-game season highs were 20 points, 15 assists, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two made threes. Payton had six double-doubles and posted a triple-double on Feb. 3 during a win at Cleveland. He reached the triple-double mark in 33 minutes, accumulating 17 points (8-17 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 1-3 FT), 15 assists (with only one turnover), 11 rebounds and one steal. It was one of Payton's 11 games with at least 15 points, one of his nine games with at least 10 assists and one of his 20 games with at least five rebounds. He also had eight games with at least three steals and 13 games with at least one block.

2018

The 2018-19 season marked Payton's age 24 season and his fifth year in the NBA. It was his first year with the Pelicans. He played and started all 42 of his appearances, missing a significant chunk of the season due to a sprained ankle. He saw 29.8 minutes per game, averaging 10.6 points, 7.6 assists (career high), 5.2 rebounds (career high) and 1.0 steals. He shot 43.4 percent from the field, 31.4 percent from three and 74.3 percent from the free-throw line (career high). In the 23 games that he saw 30-plus minutes, he averaged 12.6 points, 9.2 assists, 6.8 rebounds and 1.0 steal. Arguably his best game of the season occurred during a four-point victory over the Kings on the road. Payton posted 26 points (10-19 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 4-5 FT), 14 assists, six rebounds, three blocks and one steal across 39 minutes. It was one of his 10 double-doubles on the year. He also racked up six triple-doubles.

2017

Payton's 2017-18 campaign began in Orlando before an early February deal shipped him to Phoenix in exchange for a draft pick. As has been the case throughout the course of his four-year NBA run, Payton once again proved to be a versatile weapon at both ends of the floor. Offensively, Payton averaged double figures (12.7 points) in scoring for a third straight season. He averaged better than four rebounds (4.3) for the third time in the past four years in addition to posting better than six assists (6.2) for a fourth straight campaign. Payton's field-goal percentage also improved. He finished the season at 49.3 percent, by far a career-high. On Jan. 3, Payton swiped a career-high five steals. On Valentine's Day, Payton posted his ninth career triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists and 11 boards during a loss at Utah. On Mar. 4, Payton recorded another TD with 11 points, a season-high 14 assists and 10 boards during a close loss at Atlanta. Defensively, Payton was his usual reliable self. Having quickly developed a reputation as one of the NBA's most effective perimeter defenders, Payton averaged more than one steal per game in each of his first four NBA seasons, including 1.3 steals per contest in 2017-18.

2016

For the second time in three seasons, Elfrid Payton played in all 82 regular-season games for the Orlando Magic. Payton also continued to increase his scoring via improved shooting. The point guard shot a career-high 47.1 percent from the field and a career-best 69.2 percent from the charity stripe. As a result, his scoring average went up from 10.7 (2015-16) to 12.8. From the start of the 2014-15 season to February 2017, Payton recorded three triple-doubles. Then, he accomplished the feat on four occasions in March and once in April. On Mar. 3, Payton posted his first ever triple-double with 12 points, 10 boards and 10 assists in a win over Miami. He registered another triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a loss to the Knicks on March 6. One game later, Payton posted another triple-double with an astounding 22 points, 14 boards and 14 dimes in a win over Chicago. On March 24, Payton repeated the feat with 14 points, 11 boards and 10 assists during a blowout win over Detroit. And on Apr. 1, Payton had is fifth triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 11 dimes in a loss at Brooklyn. Payton ended the season with 529 total assists, good for 10th in the NBA. Payton also posted a career-high 18 double-doubles during the season.

2015

In the 2015-16 season, Elfrid Payton's second year in The Association, the point guard improved his scoring via improved efficiency. Payton's scoring improved to 10.7 points per game his sophomore season, following an average of 8.9 per contest as a rookie. His field-goal percentage increased from 42.5 percent to 43.6 percent, while his made three-pointers went up from 0.1 to 0.4 per contest. Payton appeared in 73 games for the Magic, with 69 starts. On Nov. 18, Payton scored a career-high 24 points during a win over Minnesota. An ankle injury forced Payton to miss four games in January. On Feb. 7, the point guard dished a season-high 12 assists in a win over the Hawks. Payton would have two more games with 12 assists, both during March. Then, later in the month, a sprained elbow cost Payton five more games. Payton's 6.4 assists per game ranked 13th in the NBA.

2014

Elfrid Payton was the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Orlando Magic traded up to pick Payton and were eager for him to take over starting point guard duties. He made his NBA debut on Opening Night, Oct. 28, starting and playing 31 minutes in a loss at New Orleans. Payton would appear in all 82 games for the Magic, logging 63 starts. On Jan. 16, the rookie posted a career-high 22 points, plus 12 assists, in a loss to the Grizzlies. Payton scored 15 or more points in 14 games. The 20-year-old was named the January 2015 Rookie of the Month after posting 10.7 points, 6.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game. On Mar. 18, Payton posted 15 points, 12 assists and 10 boards for his first career triple-double. Two days later, he repeated the feat with 22 points, 10 boards and 10 assists in win over Portland. On March 27, Payton dished a career-high 13 assists in a loss to the Pistons. The uniquely coiffed point guard had 12 double-doubles and 13 games with double-digit assists. Payton was named to the 2014-15 All-Rookie First Team. Meanwhile, his 142 total steals ranked seventh in the NBA, while his 533 total assists ranked eighth.

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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2014
    Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1st round (10th pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft. On Draft Day, traded by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Orlando Magic for Dario Saric, a 2015 2nd round draft pick (Willy Hernangómez was later selected) and a 2018 1st round draft pick (Landry Shamet was later selected).
  • July 2, 2014
    Signed a multi-year rookie contract with the Orlando Magic
  • February 8, 2018
    Traded by the Orlando Magic to the Phoenix Suns for a 2018 2nd round draft pick (Jarred Vanderbilt was later selected).
  • July 8, 2018
    Signed, as a free agent, a one-year agreement with the New Orleans Pelicans.
  • July 8, 2019
    Signed a two-year agreement with the New York Knicks.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
A disrupted 2017-18 season meant Payton found it difficult to find any rhythm. A hamstring injury cost him almost 20 games early in the season and after making his return in Orlando, he was shipped off to Phoenix for minimal return. He was excellent through his first few games before essentially falling out of the rotation for a team that had clearly shifted toward tanking. After losing Rajon Rondo to the Lakers, the Pelicans decided Payton was worth a look, and there's a good chance he'll claim the starting point guard spot. The Louisiana native has a unique skillset for a guard, offering decent out-of-position numbers on the glass, as well as strong assists and defensive stats. However, Payton does not possess a strong perimeter game and is a sub-30 percent three-point shooter for his career. Even so, Payton has managed to maintain an efficient mark from the field, overall (45.7% career FG). A fresh start and the potential to battle for a spot in the first unit could result in an uptick in production. That said, Payton begins his tenure in New Orleans with plenty to prove after failing to live up to his billing in Orlando as a top-10 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The 2017-18 campaign will be Payton’s fourth year in the league. While he arguably hasn’t played up to his 10th overall pick expectations, he’s been steadily improving since he first took the floor back in 2014. For example, over the past two seasons, Payton has improved his true shooting percentage and assist rate while dropping his turnover rate, despite seeing an increased usage rate – a difficult task to accomplish. He saw fluctuating roles last season, largely as a result of coach Frank Vogel tweaking his starting five due the team’s overall struggles, but posted 12.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals across 29.4 minutes per game. He also shot a career-high 47.1 percent from the field, but remains a non-factor from beyond the arc, hitting just 0.5 threes per game at a 27.4 percent clip. Maybe most notably, however, especially for those who play DFS, was Payton’s stat sheet stuffing in March and beyond. In the final 22 games of the season, he dropped five triple-doubles while averaging 13.6 points, 8.6 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal across 30.5 minutes while shooting 51.2 percent from the field. With the Magic doing very little to bolster the point guard slot for the upcoming season – retaining D.J. Augustin and signing Shelvin Mack – Payton looks to be in line for a similar role. Assuming he continues improving, albeit subtly, Payton could end up being a top-15 Fantasy point guard considering his proficiency in passing and rebounding while providing fair value as a scorer and defender.
Though he boosted his all-around numbers from his rookie season, Payton didn't exhibit the exponential growth some were anticipating in his second NBA season. Injury problems may have been a major reason why, as Payton was limited by an ankle sprain in the preseason and ended up sitting out nine games during the regular season with a bone bruise on his ankle and a strained elbow. Though nine missed games won't derail a season, it was uncharted territory nonetheless for Payton, who played in all 82 contests as a rookie and said he hadn't missed a single competitive game dating back to middle school. Despite the setback, Payton was able to end the second half on a high note, finishing the campaign with improvements in his field-goal (42.5% in 2014-15, 43.6% in 2015-16), free-throw (55.1%, 58.9%) and three-point (26.2%, 32.6%), percentages from the year before. That being said, those shooting marks are still quite ugly by point guard standards and really hurt Payton's value in rotisserie leagues, where benching him was often justified. Even with some further improvement in his shooting during the upcoming season, Payton is still a toxic entity in those formats, but he'll carry plenty of appeal in points leagues. With averages of 6.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game last season and three career triple-doubles under his belt, the 22-year-old has already has shown promise in the secondary categories, and he should assume more scoring responsibilities with Victor Oladipo no longer a part of the Magic's backcourt mix after getting traded to the Thunder in June.
Payton was one of 27 players to suit up for all 82 games last season. He began the year as the Magic's starting point guard due to Victor Oladipo's facial fracture, was later replaced in the starting lineup when Oladipo returned, but by late December, Payton reclaimed the starting gig permanently. In 30 minutes per contest, the 21-year-old point guard recorded 8.9 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals while shooting 43 percent from the field and a dismal 55 percent from the free-throw line. Not only does Payton struggle finishing at the rim, converting a league-worst 49 percent in the restricted area among those with at least 275 attempts, but his accuracy drastically declines the further he extends from the basket. Defenses routinely sagged off Payton on the perimeter, neutralizing driving lanes and collapsing the paint. Conversely, he recorded a team-high 101.6 offensive rating, rarely turned the ball over, exhibits tenacious defensive wherewithal, and cleaned up his free-throw percentage at the end of the season by converting 73 percent over the final 14 games. Payton spent the summer working with shooting coach Dave Love, and he's expected to retain the starting point guard job under new coach Scott Skiles.
Elfrid Payton joins the league after being the 10th selection in June's NBA draft. During his final season at Louisiana-Lafayette, the junior guard averaged 19.2 points, 5.9 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 36 minutes per game over the course of 35 games. The Lefty Driesell Award winner (Defensive POY) shot 51 percent from the field on 13.3 field goal attempts per game and 61 percent from the line on 8.6 free throw attempts per game. He was second in all of Division I basketball in free-throw attempts (302), assists (208), and steals (80). More egregiously, he led the NCAA in turnovers (127) and was only able to convert 26 percent of his three-point attempts. Jameer Nelson, E'Twaun Moore, and Ronnie Price are no longer on the roster, but Luke Ridnour was signed in free agency, and all signs point toward Payton accruing substantial minutes as the one of the primary Magic point guards. Payton lead the Orlando Pro Summer League with an impressive 7.0 assists in just under 26 minutes per game but also finished first in turnovers (4.0 per game). His quickness allows him to get to the rim with ease, a tactic likely aided by the Channing Frye signing. Payton and his percentages aren't rotisserie friendly. There a lot of holes in the rookie's game, but he has tantalizing potential, especially for head-to-head leagues. Payton has a slender frame, is ineffective catching and shooting the ball, and lacks an off-the-dribble jumper. His shooting woes also work against him at the free-throw line, making him a dangerous play in nine-category rotisserie leagues.
More Fantasy News
Another near triple-double Friday
GNew York Knicks
March 7, 2020
Payton recorded 18 points (7-12 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT), nine rebounds and eight assists across 30 minutes during Friday's 126-103 loss to the Thunder.
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Teases triple-double against Utah
GNew York Knicks
March 4, 2020
Payton pitched in 20 points (8-13 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 4-5 FT), nine assists and seven rebounds in 28 minutes during Wednesday's 112-104 loss to the Jazz.
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Finds teammates in win over Bulls
GNew York Knicks
March 1, 2020
Payton recorded three points (1-4 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 1-4 FT), 10 assists and one rebound across 33 minutes during Saturday's 125-115 win over the Bulls.
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Double-doubles in loss
GNew York Knicks
February 27, 2020
Payton put up 18 points (7-15 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 4-6 FT), 12 assists and six rebounds in 36 minutes during Thursday's loss to the 76ers.
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Hands out nine dimes versus Hornets
GNew York Knicks
February 26, 2020
Payton (ankle) pitched in six points (3-8 FG, 0-2 3Pt), nine assists, two rebounds and one steal in 27 minutes during Wednesday's 107-101 loss to the Hornets.
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